AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw; The protagonist and voice-over narrator of the series. She is a 16-year-old high-school student living in Castlebury, Connecticut, who dreams of being a famous writer. Carrie's mother recently died from cancer and as a result, Carrie's younger sister, Dorrit, is more rebellious than ever, and their father, Tom, is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own. Instead of attending school on one day during the week, she takes an internship at a law firm in New York City which she relishes as a stepping stone in her quest to leave her small town behind her. She left this position to work for Larissa Loughlin at Interview Magazine.
Austin Butler as Sebastian Kydd; The new kid at Castlebury High School and Carrie's love interest. Sebastian moves to Castlebury after getting kicked out of his old high school for having sex with his art history teacher. He lives with his divorced mother who is never around. He and Carrie date during the second half of the first season, before breaking up (after a fight resulting in Sebastian kissing Maggie). They are constantly going back and forth from a couple to singles and back, but it is clear that they both have feelings for each other.
Ellen Wong as Jill "Mouse" Chen; Jill is Carrie's nerdy and sweet best friend from high school and the ex-girlfriend of a college guy she still loves. They broke up because both of their grades were getting low. In school, she is an academic overachiever who is said to be under pressure and driven to be the best at everything by her stern parents.
Katie Findlay as Maggie Landers; Carrie's best friend, and Walt's sexually active ex-girlfriend. She is a sarcastic and self-assured underachieving student who barely passes her classes and is said to have an unhappy home life where her parents neglect and ignore her. She cares about Carrie, and will sacrifice her own happiness for Carrie's.
Stefania Owen as Dorrit Bradshaw; Carrie's troubled, 14-year-old, rebellious younger sister. She openly resents Carrie for being close with their mother, and for not having more time with her. She is rebelling by dying her hair and wearing too much eye make-up as well as seeing an guy older than Carrie called Miller.
Brendan Dooling as Walter "Walt" Reynolds; Carrie's other best friend. He is Maggie's ex-boyfriend. He doesn't know that she is cheating on him with a cop. In the ending of the first episode, it's implied that Walt is secretly gay. In later episodes it is clear he is confused about his sexuality, he even sparks an interest in a man named Bennet Wilcox (an employee at Interview Magazine). At the end of the first season he and Maggie break up, and she (as well as the rest of the group) finds out about his homosexuality. In season 2 he begins dating Bennett and his mom sees a picture of them in a local newspaper and kicks him out. He lives at Carrie's for 3 episodes before being scared off by the potential to get AIDS, breaking up with Bennett and moving back in with his parents, denying his sexuality again.
Chloe Bridges as Donna LaDonna; The school's most popular girl, and she is the leader of a clique called 'The Jens' which is made up of all of the school's shallow and narcissistic 'mean girls'. She was Carrie's chief rival in the first season and also had a crush on Walt. When she found out that Walt was gay, she protected his secret by telling the whole school that they had sex. She is currently frenemies with Carrie.
Freema Agyeman as Larissa Loughlin; A hip, British, cutting-edge style editor at Interview magazine and party girl who acts as Carrie's mentor in New York City.
Matt Letscher as Tom Bradshaw; Carrie's overprotective father. He loosens up a bit as the series progresses.
Lindsey Gort as Samantha Jones; Donna's brash and outgoing older cousin whom Carrie befriends. She is part of Manhattan's music scene.
Josh Salatin as Simon Byrnes, a former local policeman and Maggie's former casualsexual partner. Maggie ended up pregnant with Simon's child but lost it when she experienced complications. He is fired by Maggie's father when he finds out.
Jake Robinson as Bennet Wilcox, Larissa's co-worker and Walt's former boyfriend. Walt broke up with him when he realised that he wants all the things that gay people can't have, after a health scare with AIDS. Towards the end of second season Walt decides that he cannot live a lie and reconciles with Bennet, realizing that he missed him.
Scott Cohen as Harlan Silver, Tom's friend who encourages him to begin dating and Larissa's fiance.
On January 18, 2012, The CW ordered a pilot of The Carrie Diaries. The project will continue to be helmed by executive producers Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Candace Bushnell. On May 11, the pilot was picked up to series. On May 9, 2013, The CW renewed The Carrie Diaries for a second season. It has received an initial order of 13 episodes.
On February 15, 2012, the series' first role was cast. Stefania Owen has landed the part of Carrie Bradshaw's 14-year-old sister Dorrit. She's described as rebelling in the most obvious of ways: dyeing her hair, getting arrested, acting out. Dorrit is desperate for attention and willing to get it any way she can. On February 27, 2012, it was announced that AnnaSophia Robb had won the role of the young Carrie Bradshaw. On February 28, Katie Findlay and Ellen Wong joined her. Wong will play Carrie's best friend in high school, Jill Chen. Also known as 'The Mouse', Jill is said to be intelligent and loyal. Findlay will star in the project as Carrie's oldest friend Maggie Landers, the police chief's daughter. Whereas Carrie is beginning to explore Manhattan, Maggie has no desire to leave her town. On March 2, 2012, Deadline reported that Austin Butler has been cast as the male lead. Butler will play Sebastian Kydd, a brooding heartthrob and ultimate insider who always plays the outsider. His presence at Carrie's school will shake things up in a big way. On March 4, 2012, Deadline announced that Freema Agyeman has been cast in the pilot as Larissa, a hip, cutting-edge editor and party girl who works at Interview magazine and is Carrie's mentor. On the same day, Brendan Dooling, who originally auditioned for the role of Sebastian, joined the cast as Walt, Carrie's gay friend. On March 9, 2012, Deadline reported that Matt Letscher had been cast as Carrie's father. On March 14, 2012 it was announced that Chloe Bridges had been cast as Carrie's nemesis Donna LaDonna.
The Carrie Diaries has received generally mixed to positive reviews. The first season was given a 57% score on Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on 23 critics.
Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said "The CW's attempt to capture the magic of Sex and the City in a prequel, set in 1984, could have gone very wrong. But The Carrie Diaries is surprisingly right." Marisa LaScala of PopMatters says "The rest of the show goes on to prize sweetness over superficiality." Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix describes "The new series succeeds on its own nostalgic terms."
In the United States, on their first season, The Carrie Diaries aired on The CW on Mondays at 8:00 pm as a lead-in for 90210 and is then streamed on The CW's website. The show moved to Fridays for its second season and it premiered on October 25, having been paired with America's Next Top Model. In Canada, the series airs on Citytv, and premiered January 14, 2013. In Australia, the series started airing on January 15, 2013 on FOX8. In Latin America, the series premiered on Boomerang on May 20, 2013. In India, the series premiered on June 8, 2013 on Zee Cafe.